No, not that Cha-Cha!
Information is my business so I’m very wary of information that comes from unverifiable sources. I view it with the kind of suspicion reserved for “Get Rich Quick” and “Lose 30 pounds in 3 weeks” schemes. As an information seeker, I need to know where the information is coming from and who it is coming from. Helping others locate elusive information is a huge thrill for me. Sometimes the information needed is seemingly insignificant or of a sentimental value only. Other times, the information requested will have a major impact in the decisions people make. Whatever the reasons, I work hard to ensure that the information I provide is accurate, reliable, and valid. My sister-in-law told me the other day that I was her favorite search engine. She made my day!
Speaking of search engines, I tried a new one recently. You guessed it – it is called ChaCha. I know, I know, old news already! Be that as it may, I finally decided to try it. In case, you’re even slower jumping on the bandwagon than I am, ChaCha is basically a text-message search engine. That’s right – it’s for your cellphone, not your PC. Did you get the part about a text-message search engine? You heard right. So if you don’t speak text, you and I are probably better off sticking with Google.
ChaCha is proud of the fact that questions are answered by actual human beings rather than an automated service. Some questions can be answered in under a minute. Others can take longer than 10 minutes. You simply type the text of your question in either plain English or text lingo if you speak the language, and send it on its merry way to 242242 (ChaCha). As I was saying I was curious about this service so I decided to test it.
I sent in 4 different questions. I chose questions that I considered to be of varying difficulty levels. Three of the questions were answered within a minute. Of the three answers, two were correct and one was incorrect. The last question, the one that I expected would take the longest, was answered in just under 20 minutes. Surprisingly, the answer was correct – incomplete but correct.
My biggest reservation about ChaCha is that I’ve no idea who is answering my questions. The questions I sent weren’t critical to me as I already knew the answers. But what if I didn’t know the answer? What if I had a real question and the answer to that question would determine something important? Would I still go with ChaCha? Probably not! But this doesn’t mean that ChaCha isn’t useful. From what I’ve seen, ChaCha is great and there is certainly a place for such a service. However, for the important things, I need to know that my source is credible and reliable and in order to know that, I need to know who my source is.
When it comes to spiritual questions, isn’t it great to know that there is a reliable source that we can go to? There is no greater testifier of truth than the Spirit. When it comes to questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we can ask friends, read literature from a variety of sources, and search for information online. We can do all these things and gain a picture of what the Church believes and teaches but to have a real testimony of the truth, we need to go to the source of all truth – our Heavenly Father and His son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we pray in faith to our Heavenly Father, having a sincere desire to know, He will answer. When we receive this witness of the Spirit, we can be assured that this source is one that we can trust with our hearts, minds, and souls!